Mark Siano and Opal Peachey’s The Fairy’s Bottom (7/6/23)

We never know who we are until we come out and state the un-obvious. 

My housemate Gaby Sanchez billed herself as an Occupational Therapist and I billed myself as a Med Tech/CNA.

Health care workers.

I was aware that Gaby was in terrific physical condition with many dance classes but chucked that up to being young, smart, and willing to go to the gym, attributes I also share and shared in great abundance in my youth, right down to the dance classes.

Gaby is always a splash in lavender — her color — and partaking in the lush exhuberance of personal dance.

It takes great vigilance to tend oneself in the finest mechanisms of self-presentation. It is a lot of work to be looked at so much.

It is a labor that is usually better suited to the magnitude of the stage or of large gatherings, but to do so at a minute level is a gift to ordinary humanity.

Imagine going to the grocery store and seeing a movie star pushing her cart through the aisles. You can’t help a second look. She might smile at you, imparting a bit of grace.

She is Venus incarnate, and you go away a better person for having been in her presence. This is equally true of men, and for any kind of predelictions in private life. To look good for passersby is a service to civilization. 

Imagine my surprise when this health care worker said, “By the way, I am doing a show.”

A lot of bells went off. A show.

Dayum. I should be doing a show. 

Artists have envy. There is no way past it. It is also a sign of how things should go. Get back on that horse or eat your heart out. 

The obstacles are serious. At fifty-nine, I have billed myself as the most reliable health care worker on the block. I say it takes five people who live for a facility to keep a facility running, and damnit if I didn’t become that person, at the expense of working every night, which is not how you “do a show.”

So where am I?

Five years into a great vocation that pays the rent, something I needed. But now I need something else. 

I got a ticket to Gaby’s show. I went.

It was a lovely burlesque cabaret, and Gaby acquitted herself admirably as the Fairy Queen Hippolyta, as did all of the players. We sat down to $30 tickets, downtown business cocktails, a bit of the noshies, and away we went. 

Oberon and Titania.


Truman Buffet Photography

© Joann Farias 2023